Lets Grow

Hiking North Country Trail

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Published January 8th, 2010

Have you ever hiked the Appalachian Trail or one like it? One of the great pleasures is to enjoy a walk in the woods and fields without having to stumble through the brush or worry about what’s underfoot. You can move quietly through nature, enjoying the wildlife around you. Those of you with natural areas on your own property probably would enjoy it more if you had nice trails to walk on year round.

A good trail is wide enough for two people to walk side-by-side but not wide enough for ATV’s. There are no overhanging branches or stickers to grab you on the way past, and the footing drains quickly when it rains so there’s no mud. The slopes are gentle, not more than a 10% grade to climb. It’s well marked so you won’t lose your way. Trails like this take some planning and hard work to create but good trails are easy to maintain once they’re in place.

Adams County has a club of trail enthusiasts; a local chapter of the North Country Trail Association and the Buckeye Trail. The Buckeye Trail has existed in Ohio for many years, but much of the trail is on paved roads. North Country Trail is a regional project administered by the National Park Service, extending from upstate New York all the way to North Dakota, around the Great Lakes. North Country Trail and Buckeye Trail have partnered in Ohio, with the goal of taking Buckeye Trail off road and making it part of the National Trails System. Any section of the trail that meets North Country Trail specifications is “certified” and then maintained by volunteers.

The Adams County chapter of North Country Trail is creating a mile of certified trail here at GoodSeed Farm, the first “showcase project” of our local trail chapter. A demonstration “loop trail” off the main trail along old State Route 32, it will include a primitive campsite for hikers in a natural “bowl”. This will be an ideal spot to watch the night sky. Most of this trail is already in place, after many days of work by volunteers.

If you’re interested in learning how to plan and create trails on your property, or just enjoy hiking and working on trails, you can get acquainted with the North Country Trail volunteers on Saturday, January 24th. We’ll meet at noon for a lunch meeting at the White Star Restaurant in Peebles, followed by a hike of the trail at GoodSeed Farm. Join us for your first experience of the “Appalachian Trail in Ohio”.

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